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Royalty Fishery Report 31st July 2011

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As things have finally quietened down in the shop I have had to face up to the need to get the Royalty reports up to date and it’s a daunting task to say the least! I’m actually looking at our photo’s folder and it contains enough pictures to stock the National Gallery. Knowing that each and every one of them will have to be re-sized, compressed, renamed and then uploaded onto our new server before I even consider adding the words is enough to drive me to drink.

The rest of July remained dry with temperatures slightly cooler than the seasonal norm and the river continued to run lower and lower resulting in the fishing being tougher than expected. Having said that, there were plenty of decent barbel still landed from around the fishery. The chub fishing continues to improve year on year and chub of 6lb plus are once again becoming a regular feature of anglers catches on the Royalty. Likewise the roach fishing continues to buck the trend of the Middle Avon with plenty of small roach landed along with the odd specimens that break the magic 2lb barrier. Unfortunately throughout July anyone getting the roach feeding well was invariably visited by the unwelcome attention of the resident pike who seem to put the poor roach at the top of the menu given half a chance.

Unlike much of the river above Christchurch where weed growth made fishing somewhat challenging, most of the Royalty remained fishable despite no weed cuts being carried out after the start of the season due to the lack of water. When I say ‘most’ there were areas where the weed was thick enough to make landing barbel somewhat challenging to say the least and it wasn’t that unusual to see anglers wading out to land their catch. A couple of great shots were sent to me by an angler who ‘wished to remain anonymous ‘ of local anglers Ken Thompson & George Cornwell at Fiddlers.

George Cornwall and Ken Thompson attempt to extract an unwilling barbel from Fiddlers Just how deep is Fiddlers?

George did have some success during the month and kindly sent in the following pictures of three fish he landed to 8lb 6oz in a session fishing the cattle drink. He was targeting the group of good doubles that were showing and suffered the frustration of striking too early when one of the big girls did pick up his bait.

George Cornwell with a 7lb 8oz barbel George with another barbel weighing between 7 - 8lbs
George with the best of the three barbel caught in a single session weighing 8lb 6oz

Another Royalty regular, Paul Martin, also got amongst the barbel with a lovely looking fish of 11lb 14oz.

PJ with an 11lb 12oz barbel from Mugs Hole

Love them or loathe them, one cannot ignore the fact that the Royalty holds some seriously large bream with fish up to 13lbs being reported over the last couple of seasons. This year however, whilst the average size of individual fish remained high, the shoals were markedly smaller in size than they have been for several years. Best guesses are that they had stayed lower down the river in the tidal section, probably moving between the Avon and the Lower Stour where some big caches have been amassed. Two anglers who kindly sent in pictures of their bream were Jez Brown and his colleague Marc Brion who shared a mixed bag of silvers, perch and bream estimated to weigh 50lbs plus.

Lord Jez Brown with a 6lb bream Marc Brion with a Parlour caught Bream

It was great to welcome back Chris Povey to Davis Tackle this month, Chris was our rep for Pure Fishing until a reorganisation meant that he no longer covered our corner of Dorset. This time he was down to have a fish on the Royalty and he managed to tempt a lovely 12lb specimen fishing below the Pipes on the East Bank.

Chris Povey with a 12lb barbel from below the Cattle Dink

The barbel fishing in the Parlour this month was rather tough as the lack of water discouraged them from moving up from the main river. Having said that it still managed to produce several doubles, including this beauty weighing 14lb 4oz caught by Steve Ballard.

Steve Ballard with a cracking 14lb 4oz barbel from the Parlour

Anyone who has fished Throop over the last few years or reads the Throop reports on our website will have heard of Brian Willson the RDAA bailiff who kindly writes those reports and is on the banks of the Stour most days. Well his son Rick is no slouch when it comes to catching barbel and he took this lovely looking specimen which was just shy of being a double weighing in at 9lb 10oz from below the White Stile.

Rick Willson with a lovely looking up and coming double which went 9lb 10oz

Mark Nicholls came down for a short fishing break and, whilst the fishing was somewhat tough he still managed to land a brace of doubles. The one he is holding weighed 11lb 10oz - the one on the mat went 12lb 9oz. Both were caught on pellet from the lawn above mug's hole between 9.15-9.25pm.

Mark Nicholls with an 11lb 10oz barbel from above Mugs Hole A 12lb 9oz barbel landed by Mark Nicholls

Simon Lee enjoyed a session fishing Barlins for the first time in 28 years but unfortunately he only caught small dace and roach from the stretch. He managed a six pound barbel from Greenbanks the next day and kindly attached a picture of a barbel which, if I have read the file name correctly, weighed 10lb 7oz. Simon also had the pleasure of seeing what is an increasingly rare event in the UK, lamprey spawning on the gravel runs. These endangered oddities are strictly protected and we are so lucky to still have a reasonable population that spawn on the Royalty each season. A sight not to be missed as they move large stones around to create their redds.

Simon Lee's 10b 7oz barbel

Well that brings July up to date report wise and, busy times in the shop excepted, you can expect to see the reports brought bang up to date over the next few days.

Happy reading!


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